Hilda Mitrani


  • This American Cuban lover of arts and science refused to give up career or motherhood.


Hilda Sofia Mitrani was In Utero when her mother Esther boarded a Pan Am flight in 1961, leaving the tyranny of Castro’s Cuba for the shores of the USA (Miami to be exact—her father would join his family a few short months later).

“My family left Cuba for reasons of political and religious freedom. It wasn’t long after Castro took over and implemented communist rule that his totalitarian vision began to absorb the educational system as well. The beginning of brain-washing children, taught to obey the state—not their families or faith, was in full motion. This was unacceptable to my parents and many others like them.”

{Writer’s Note: it ought to be noted that a Jewish Diaspora from Cuba to the United States was by some counts as high as 95% after Castro came into power}.

“I was born in Miami Beach, the youngest of three. My father found work as an engineer; it was helpful that he’d earned his graduate degree in the States. Despite that, however, the first years were not easy.”

Like most immigrant families the move was arduous—they arrived with next-to-nothing and money, or lack thereof, was a constant issue. So much so in fact, that Hilda relayed to the writer a wonderfully touching story that she herself was told by her mother.

Growing up I didn’t want to be a hyphenated American, just an American. I wanted to fit in. Fortunately my family preserved in me the culture of Cuba. My children enjoy the broader perspective of multiculturalism and embrace being flavorable Americans!

“Apparently, on our first Christmas in the States, our neighbors in West Hialeah, an elderly Italian couple (with no children of their own), took it upon themselves to provide us with genuine Christmas cheer. They brought food—a feast’s worth and armfuls of presents for the entire family.

“Ultimately my father was able to bring many of our relatives from Cuba and assist in their relocation, which allowed us a strong familial sense of being. I recall holidays being of such importance and I recall how we kept our Cuban customs and cooking, even on Thanksgiving—feasting on savory turkey with congrís (black beans mixed with rice) along with flan to complement the American traditions. My mother also made lamb and baklava for many of the traditional Jewish holidays, since those are Sephardic traditions.

“I was always aware of just how lucky I was, having so much family around me, when so many other ex-pats were forced to leave so many behind.

“My childhood was the best of American values mixed with an immigrant family’s gratitude and respect for the old country. The arts were woven throughout because art is the universal language. And lucky for me, art education was customary (for both sexes) in middle and upper class families from Cuba prior to Castro.”

As a result of this cultural anomaly, Hilda, the youth, was much involved in the arts: especially music (classical, jazz and pop), film and ballet.

“I played piano, oboe and danced ballet, tap and jazz,” she told the writer with pride.

Religion was also a factor in Hilda’s upbringing. The family adhered to its Jewish faith, attending two temples (one Spanish/Hebrew the other English/Hebrew), celebrating the holidays as practitioners of the religion.

After graduating high-school in Miami, Hilda enrolled at Florida State, staying on for a year before transferring to the University of Miami where she earned a degree in Arts Administration (cum laude).

“Since art had always been a passion, I initially sought career ops in the arts. Actually, I had worked with non-profits and community art endeavors during my high school days and into college. After graduation I worked with the Florida Grand Opera.”

Editor’s Note:
To contact Hilda Mitrani
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Work wasn’t all Hilda did after graduation, a marriage and motherhood also accompanied her into adulthood (not to mention a menagerie of rabbits and dogs and birds et al). Her children Andrea and David fully embraced their mom’s love of the arts.

{Writers note: It should be noted Hilda moved to Hollywood a few years ago, after living most of her life in Miami-Dade. Her son David has autism, which, with the fact that she was surrounded by family elders while growing up, provided the impetus of her devotion to the healthcare milieu}.

“I only worked part time when the kids were younger so that I could be a hands-on-mother. I blended to two ‘skill-sets,’ unwilling to give up either career or motherhood.”

And Hilda kept with the cultural diversity she’d been born into—the kids are bilingual, the cuisine both traditional and Americana—the Jewish faith actively practiced.

“Growing up I didn’t want to be a hyphenated American, just an American. I wanted to fit in. Fortunately my family preserved in me the culture of Cuba. My children enjoy the broader perspective of multiculturalism and embrace being flavorable Americans!”

Since 2005 Hilda has been President of Mitrani Marketing, a boutique agency with experience in the healthcare, travel/tourism and business-to- business sectors.

“I’m a 25-year veteran of the marketing and communications field and specialize in working with hospitals, foundations, non-profit organizations, elected officials and business-to-business accounts. As owner and principal of Mitrani Marketing, I’ve helped originate and trans-create marketing and communications campaigns in several languages.

“Additionally, I have extensive experience in crisis communications. Our team can originate and create campaigns in media relations, advertising, digital media and marketing into Spanish, Portuguese or French.

Recent clients of Mitrani Marketing include Cleveland Clinic Florida, Cadenza Center for Psychotherapy and the Arts, Els for Autism Foundation and Baptist Health South Florida. Previous clients include the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Alpha-1 Foundation, The Rodriguez Group/Visit Florida, Mayoral Dermatology and Health Foundation of South Florida.

Latinarrific salutes Hilda Mitrani.


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Kent Wallace
Senior Correspondent at Latinarrific
Kent Wallace has worked in the mainstream media for over 30 years. He has been a journalist, publisher, performer, art critic and marketing strategist. He has written for such magazines as Esquire, Source, Ear, ArtSpeak and Notorious (to name a few).

Wallace was a contributing writer for “High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max's Kansas City,” he co-authored and authored several published books.

Wallace has hosted radio shows on ESPN (Reno) and KPLY (Reno). Wallace has appeared on Montel, The Tyra Banks Show, The John Walsh Show and the Rikki Lake show. Wallace also served as a consultant on an HBO’s hit series.

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